Data Strategy Not Working? Grab a Cloud or Two or Three

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Click to learn more about author Ingo Fuchs.

Cloud has become a critical element of today’s IT strategies. You may not want to, but you have to consider how to best take advantage of cloud. Is your organization focusing on an IT Agenda? Is it focusing on a Transformation Agenda? If you answered yes to either of these questions, cloud will be part of the underlying IT strategies, but at very different levels.

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Those who operate by the IT Agenda are just beginning their cloud life cycle, and are merely trying to remain functional with new, cloud-focused technologies and processes. These businesses generally hire an IT team to make sure operations continue at the lowest possible cost. They use the minimum amount of hardware and software needed to stay afloat and are focused on maintenance.

Businesses that can be categorized by the Transformation Agenda, on the other hand, view IT as a strategic differentiator. In this type of business, entire organizations turn to IT teams to drive innovation, evolve business practices, and beat competitors. Obviously, operating under the Transformation Agenda is more satisfying and inspirational for anyone in a tech function within an organization – yet also more challenging.  

IT teams that operate in the Transformation Agenda face higher expectations than those in the IT Agenda. They require flexibility to make decisions and implement them quickly in a cloud, shifting data as necessary. If a project is unsuccessful, Transformational IT teams are expected to quickly disassemble workflows and associated applications and scale the cloud back down, rather than face hundreds of useless, and costly, machines that no longer have purpose.

Where Do You Go from Here?

Pixar’s The Incredibles famously states that “when everyone is super, no one will be”. In the past few years, we have seen a vast majority of enterprises make the jump to hybrid cloud environments. While that does indeed prove that they are innovators, it begs a question: As more companies use hybrid cloud and leverage the power of the Transformation Agenda, what will these innovative companies do next to stay ahead?

To me, it is clear that the next phase will be the extreme growth of hybrid multi-cloud environments.

After the massive success companies saw in leveraging hybrid cloud, and the growth that it enabled them, they became cloud-smart. Organizations took the time to learn what the focus and strength of each cloud provider was and how they compare to on-premises clouds. They began to understand why one might be a better fit for a specific workload than another. As each cloud provider continues to emerge with stronger and stronger unique capabilities, customers will no longer accept that they have to choose just one vendor.

Let’s Aim for Hybrid Multi-Cloud

Success in data innovation comes from maximizing the resources available to become the best, most efficient and most innovative company. Five years ago, leaders did that with a hybrid of cloud and on-premises environments. Now, as technology has grown, they can distribute workloads between several cloud environments, including on-premises, with more ease than ever before.

Once we understand why a company has chosen hybrid cloud, we can label them as either a survivalist or an innovator. Those who are innovators will never stop striving towards the next big change – that’s why innovators are already looking to speed their innovation further with the use of a multi-cloud environment.

Companies Have Already Arrived

For example, WuXi NextCODE, one of the world’s leading genomics organizations, uses an unimaginable amount of genome data to provide genomics diagnoses to hospitals and research organization around the world. Their goal is to figure out how to find the next treatment for major diseases and help come to earlier detection and prevent loss of life. Their investment into multiple clouds (yes, more than one), and the innovation it has allowed has helped WuXi reduce infrastructure costs and increase flexibility so that they can focus on life-changing science.

Your Company Can Do It Too

Operating by the innovative Transformation Agenda is a strong start to building a foundation for growth in any business. But in a world where being super is no longer extraordinary, companies are challenged to take it one step further and to think a little bigger.

To differentiate and to succeed, you must embrace change, sometimes before it even happens. Allow technology to ease your life and your business pains by investing in the future. Don’t just embrace the Transformation Agenda, live by it. Lead with innovation and always look to the future, it is the only way you will ever rise to the occasion.

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